— The Erimtan Angle —

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‘Once, young conservatives in the US looked across the ocean to Margaret Thatcher. Now the model is Nigel Farage. According to The Guardian, the garrulous chain-smoker has become the model of trans-Atlantic conservativism to many on the right. The Brexit vote was greeted with jubilation by many on the American right. On talk radio, Rush Limbaugh praised the vote as a nation of people rising up against the ruling class and the elites, while Fox TV’s Sean Hannity described the Leave vote as “the British people, in their very polite way, showed Obama their middle finger”. And while Donald Trump vocally endorsed Brexit, many vehement Trump opponents on the American right also did so as well. Ted Cruz called the result “a wake-up call for internationalist bureaucrats from Brussels to Washington DC that some free nations still wish to preserve their national sovereignty”. As the American right combines long-standing suspicion of big government and growing hawkishness on immigration, the admiration for Farage and UKIP in the US is only likely to grow. Published on Jun 28, 2016′.

Seen from this side of the world. one cannot but be struck by the fact that people across the pond oftentimes, if not all the time, appear to be totally clueless. As such, Mister Farage has been biting the hand that feeds for the past 17 years, pocketing his MEP salary and stashing it away in an offshore tax haven . . . Farage, it turns out, set up a “trust fund in an offshore tax haven which could have enabled him to cut his tax bill. Farage, who previously condemned tax avoiders in a speech to the European parliament, said that he paid a tax adviser to set up the Farage Family Educational Trust 1654 on the Isle of Man”.[1] Apart from being a populist and jingoistic opportunist, Mister Farage also shows himself to be a first class hypocrite at the end of the day.

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And now, Conservatives in the U.S. have apparently discovered this little man as well . . . replacing Maggie Thatcher and rivalling the Drumpf in his appeal to the uninformed and intellectually ill-equipped. This really is a brave new world we live in today . . . Farage to a newspaper that “[m]y financial advisers recommended I did it, to have a trust really for inheritance purposes and I took the advice and I set it up. It was a mistake. I was a completely unsuitable person for it. I am not blaming them, it was my fault. It’s a vehicle that you chuck things in through your life that you don’t need and you build up a trust fund for your children or grandchildren. It was called an educational trust and could have been used for grandchildren’s schools fees, things like that. It was a mistake for three reasons. Firstly, I’m not rich enough to need one and I am never going to be. Secondly, frankly, the world has changed. Things that we thought were absolutely fair practice 10 years, 20 years ago, 30 years ago aren’t any more. Thirdly, it was a mistake because it cost me money. I sent a cheque off to set it up”.[2] In his own words, somebody has thus for years been making the wrong plans for Nigel . . .

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[1] Rajeev Syal, “Nigel Farage admits setting up tax haven trust fund was a mistake” The Guardian (21 June 2013). http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/jun/21/nigel-farage-tax-haven-trust-fund-mistake.

[2] Rajeev Syal, “Nigel Farage admits setting up tax haven trust fund was a mistake”.

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